Pierre chareau

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Pierre CHAREAU (1883 - 1950)

French architect and designer. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1900– 08). His first major design was an office–library for the Pavillon de la Sociétédes Artistes Décorateurs (of which he was a member from 1923 to 1932) at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (Paris, 1925). A strikingly original feature of thedesign was its complex circular structure and sliding wall panels in palm-wood, which could be opened or closed according to lighting requirements. The ceiling housed an oculus that reflectedartificial interior light. As early as 1923 he designed an impressive series of lamps in floating secant planes of alabaster, revealing an interest in Cubist explorations of space. After 1925 Chareau’s highlysculptural furniture, which pivoted or expanded in fan-shaped configurations, became a feature of his designs. Also characteristic of Chareau’s work were his unusual combinations of materials such aslightly hammered, unpolished metal and rich mahogany.

In 1928 Chareau worked, in collaboration with the Dutch architect Bernard Bijvoet, on two architectural projects. The clubhouse in Beauvallon(1928; now altered), near St Tropez, was of reinforced concrete. The interiors were particularly noteworthy for Chareau’s metal and wood furnishings. None of Chareau’s previous work, however, preparesone for the Maison de Verre (1928–32), Paris, a private residence and doctor’s office for Dr and Mme Jean Dalsace. The house embodied the principles of modern building methods. It was constructedwith a metal framework that was left exposed on the exterior and interior and infilled with curtain walls of glass brick (see Glass, fig. 7). The interior, bathed in daylight gently diffused by the glasswalls, was open-plan but could be divided by curtains or sliding partitions of perforated metal or glass. In 1931 Chareau joined the Union des Artistes Modernes, a Paris-based group of artists,...